Patient Guide

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Teen Treatment

Most people—adults and teens alike—find the thought of cancer treatment frightening. Some people think the treatment is scarier than the disease itself.

So it’s pretty normal to feel apprehensive, especially when you are being poked and prodded and scanned and people are talking about doing things to you that you don’t really understand.

One thing you should know is that cancer treatment is not as bad as it used to be. The treatments themselves are improving all the time, and so are the strategies and drugs to help minimize side effects.

The most obvious side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. At first, the thought of going around with a bald head might be pretty upsetting, and you way want to read some suggestions for coping with being bald.

Depending on the kind of cancer you have and how far it has progressed, your doctors may recommend one or more of the following types of treatment: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

This is your disease, and the more you know the better you can cope with what is happening. On the other hand, if you are feeling overloaded right now, this may not be the best time to read up on cancer. When the time is right, these well-respected websites have information on the major types of cancer affecting teens and children:

Teens Living with Cancer

National Cancer Institute PDQ treatment summaries

American Cancer Society